Category: CULTURE & CRITICISM

Why are most people in China still atheist, although the government has legalized religion and social reform. They tend to revive atheism instead and making it worse.

KEVIN DOLGIN—These three religions were no more contradictory in the minds of the Chinese over the millennia than three different philosophies might be and most people kind of mingle them (certainly the first two). Indeed, once again, they are more philosophies than religions in many respects. You don’t go to church, you don’t even really pray (although Taoism and Buddhism are big on meditation), there typically is no concept of a creator god, and none of them are really big on proselytising.

READ ON

Europe is Pregnant

AIDAN O’BRIEN—The Europeans are pushing against liberalism and its neoliberal progeny. Never mind the fact that the new or alternative political parties they vote for are failing to live up to their critical manifestos. The point is that probably 50% or more of the Europeans have had enough of liberal capitalism. And this means that they have had enough of the EU. How this plays out though is anyone’s guess.

READ ON

LOVE AND LOSS IN THE ANTHROPOCENE (Or is it the capitalocene?)

ELIZABETH WEST—As a species, we have been unable to meet the challenges posed by our own misguided attachment to growth.  While the apple blossoms in the orchard around my first apartment faded and began their transformation into fruit (duly sprayed, no doubt, with stockpiled DDT), the fifth annual Earth Day was observed.  It is impossible to say whether we might have changed the course of things enough if we had paid attention to what was already known then, but the point is moot. We didn’t grasp the urgency, we didn’t act. And for the main, we still do not, even as the world burns.

READ ON

Democrats and the Crisis of Legitimacy

ROB URIE—Charges that foreign influence determined the 2016 electoral outcomes are wholly implausible when placed in the context of the scale of voter disaffection with the duopoly Party system. For instance, 71% of eligible voters didn’t vote for the Democratic Party candidate. 73% didn’t vote for Donald Trump (Clinton won the popular vote). Ninety million eligible voters (40%) didn’t cast a ballot at all.

READ ON

Junk Planet: Is Earth the Largest Garbage Dump in the Universe?

ROBERT J BURROWES—Well, for a start, even recycled rubbish is not always recycled, and even when it is, the environmental cost is usually high.

In fact, the various costs of dealing with rubbish is now so severe that China, a long-time recipient of waste from various parts of the world, no longer wants it. See ‘China No Longer Wants Your Trash. Here’s Why That’s Potentially Disastrous’.

Of course there are also special events that encourage us to dump extra rubbish into the Earth’s biosphere. Ever thought about what happens following special celebrations like Christmas? See ‘The Environmental Christmas Hangover’ or the waste discharged from cruise ships? See ‘16 Things Cruise Lines Never Tell You’.

READ ON